10:30 rolls around, I forward the email off to the general population, print out about six copies, gather fabledreality and others, and head down for 'Bucks. I figure this will be a good time to head out there: after the morning buzz time, before lunch. That and Mickey called me twice to insist that I get my ass down there and cash in. We arrive at the nearest Starbucks to find an employee posting a company-wide email from Starbucks Headquarters that says any coupon for free Frappuccinos that is not printed on both sides is "counterfeit." I asked her how an email gets printed on both sides and she says she doesn't know. The counter girl suggests three other Starbucks within 5 blocks of us to try our coupons at and off we go.
The second Starbucks, literally on the other side of the block, does not have this email posted but says that they were given 6 cases of the ingredients for the Frappuccinos and that once they ran out of it, they were out of free drinks. They apparently ran out of the stuff around 9:45. My colleagues and I were far more satisfied with this answer and thanked her for not trying to pull the "counterfeit" line on us. She said that they weren't supposed to accept the emailed coupons, that the only ones that were actually valid were on slick paper and had been inserted in the newspaper. Spirits dampened, we huddled to decide whether a third Starbucks was worth the trip. Three blocks away and some more time away from work...why the hell not.
We arrive at the third Starbucks. No email posted, no crowd. I walk up to the counter and show my coupon. The girl looks jokingly exasperated and says "man, those things...what kind do you want?" Swish. Just when we were about to give up, victory was ours. The girls making the drinks said something about stopping taking the printed coupons, and the countergirl said, "okay, we'll stop after these four people here." It was a damn fine free drink. Worth walking a few blocks for sure.
Fuck you Starbucks. Let's see you try to get out of making good on your promises while I'm around.